Guidance Notes For Landlords
Thank you for your enquiry regarding Abbey Estates Letting and Management Services. The following information should help to guide you through the maze of residential letting. However should you require any further information please contact our offices.
Finding A Tenant
Through our office we would endeavor to find the most suitable tenant(s) for your property. Searching through our active mailing list of potential tenants, advertising in the local newspapers, websites and in our prominent office window display. To create additional interest we can erect a ‘To Let’ board on your request. We can usually find tenants for all properties whether let furnished, part furnished or unfurnished.
We use a professional referencing company to check all of our prospective tenants. These verification and identity checks involve comprehensive enquiries and will almost always include employers, accountant (if self employed), previous landlord, character and bank, which you may check prior to the tenancy commencement.
An ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’ is drawn up for the assured period, usually for six or twelve months. This can be drawn up for another specified period not exceeding three years. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is available for your inspection on request.
We collect a minimum of one and a half months rent as a deposit in cleared funds prior to the tenancy commencement, which we hold as stakeholders, against damage, breakages and non-payment of rent. We register the deposit and hold it in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Who Must I Inform?
You have legal obligation to inform your mortgagee, the Inland Revenue (overseas landlords see below), Freeholder (if leasehold property) and Insurance Companies (building and contents insurance policies may become invalid/void if not informed).
Overseas Landlords Non Resident Landlords Scheme
Overseas landlords must also register with FICO; application forms are available from our office. We are obliged to retain income tax at 20% and pay it to the Inland Revenue for overseas landlords without a registration number.
Rent/Legal Protection Insurance
Abbey Estates aim to take every care in the letting and management of your property but cannot be held responsible for non payment of rent or any other default by the tenants or any associated legal costs incurred. We can arrange Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses Protection Insurance through Homelet (individually quoted). Please advise us on instructing whether you require this cover.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulation 1994
The Electrical Equipment Regulations came into force on 9th January 1995 and require that all electrical equipment is supplied safe. The regulations cover all mains voltage electric goods including cookers, kettles, toasters, electric blankets, washing machines, immersion heaters etc. As a landlord you are the ‘supplier’ of the product and need to ascertain whether the product will comply with the current UK requirements for safety of domestic electrical products. You should arrange for testing to check the safety of equipment to ensure it is safe, although there is no specific requirement for regular testing under the regulations. Where safe use of equipment relies on the user being aware of any particular characteristics, information or instruction booklets should be provided. If any risk occurs through the supply of unsafe equipment the penalty is up to £5000 or three months imprisonment.
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994
Each property must have a valid Gas Safety Certificate on the commencement and during the period of the tenancy. Only a ‘Gas Safe’ registered installer may undertake the annual inspection. A copy of the report and certificate must be supplied to the tenant(s) on entry - this is a legal obligation. We can arrange this for you.
Smoke and Carbon monoxide Regulations 2015
All landlords are now required by law to: fit working smoke alarms to each level of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and fit working carbon monoxide alarms to any room of the premises used wholly or partly as living accommodation where it contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. The regulations dictate that both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are checked by the landlord on the first day of a new tenancy. Whilst there is no legislation at this time which requires Carbon Monoxide detectors in any room with a gas appliance, we strongly recommend that they are installed for safety. We can arrange for the checking of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for you along with the installation if required.
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
All upholstered furniture (defined below) must carry a permanent label denoting that the furniture is fire resistant complying with the ignitability tests that meet the standard BS7177.
The Regulations apply to any furniture which is upholstered and intended for use in a residential dwelling house. This includes:
The Regulations do not apply to:
We can prepare an in depth inventory of your property’s contents and the condition, which we request you to check and approve prior to the tenancy commencement. Please call for an individual quote.
We liase with gas, electric, council tax and water companies as to the change of occupancy.
We would strongly recommend that you request the post office to re-direct any of your mail on to your forwarding address. We will forward on to you any stray mail that the tenant brings into our offices.
We can carry out inspections, at the landlord’s request, and report back any irregularities to you. At the end of the tenancy we carry out a final inspection against your inventory and the tenants deposit is returned less damages, breakages and in the event of any non-payment of rent.
|Service Options||Full Management 10% + vat||Letting 8% + vat||Introduction 8% + vat|
|Comprehensive advertising including floorplans and property portals||X||X||X|
|Tenant referencing and verification checks||X||X||X|
|Preparation of Tenancy Agreement||X||X|
|Signing up the tenant and collecting the first months rent and security deposit||X||X||X|
|Transfer of Utilities and Council Tax||X||X|
|Paying into the landlords account by BAC's||X||X|
|Registering the Deposit||X||X|
|Arranging Repairs and Maintenance||X|
|Serving legal notices to regain possession||X||X|
|Chasing late or non-payment of rent||X|
|Renewing gas safety certificates||X||X|
|Dealing with disputes from the deposit against the tenant for damage if necessary||X||X|
|Providing landlord support and legal advice||X||X|
|Periodic Inspection||£50 + vat|
|Accompanied Visits for Contractors||£50 p/h|
|Archive Retrieval||£50 + vat|
|Annual Tax Statement||£50 + vat|
|Registration and Holding of Deposit||£75 + vat|
|Rent Collection||£100 + vat p/a|